At The Divine Mercy we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to support our children to become lifelong readers.
The heart of our intent is to develop positive attitudes towards reading so that it is a pleasurable and meaningful activity, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that include quality, engaging texts that allow all children to imagine themselves and their lives in stories.
We want to enable all children to-
- use reading skills as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum
- read and respond to a variety of texts whilst gaining increased level of fluency, accuracy, independence and understanding
We recognise the importance of taking a consistent approach to the teaching of reading throughout the school in order to close any gaps. We have high expectations of all children and strive for all children to reach at least the expected level of reading.
Our aims for reading and phonics are embedded across our English lessons, which are based around the Primary Writing Project, our reading lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum guided by the PWP framework, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of resources and quality texts, often linked to our topic based Learning Challenge curriculum, to motivate and inspire our children.
We implement the teaching of reading through a wide range of reading opportunities that include:
- Shared reading and Guided reading in EYFS.
- Guided reading building to structured whole class reading lessons in year one.
- Whole class reading lessons in year 2 onwards including work around vocabulary, comprehension and fluency.
- Independent reading
- Home/school reading
- Hearing books read aloud daily
- Selecting own choice of texts including ICT texts
- Reading in other subjects including ICT texts
- Reading for pleasure time
- Quality texts linked to different subjects throughout our Learning Challenge curriculum
- Daily high quality phonics lessons in EYFS and KS1
- Using phonics knowledge in real life contexts
- Applying phonic skills in cross curricular contexts
- Reading celebration days
Teaching and Learning
- Teachers promote and value reading as an enjoyable activity and a life skill. Teachers plan for a range of comprehension strategies that allow pupils to engage with text in a variety of ways to suit different learning styles.
- In shared reading, the teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader providing a high level of support. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific reading strategies, oral response and collaboration. Texts are rich and challenging, beyond the current reading ability of the majority of the class.
- Whole class comprehension is directly taught weekly. Texts are at age-related expectation and are structured complete after strategies to answer questions are modelled by the teacher. The comprehension questions are clearly organised into retrieval, vocabulary and inference. In EYFS, Bug Club comprehension activities are used to further develop comprehension skills for targeted children.
- In guided reading, texts are chosen to match the ability of the group but still provide an element of challenge. Guided reading provides a forum for pupils to demonstrate what they have learned about reading; the focus for the reading is concerned with extending strategies/objectives taught in shared reading.
- Teachers plan for independent reading activities during sessions of English teaching. Texts are selected so that pupils can access them without support. The focus for the reading is to provide practice and develop personal response to text.
- Many other opportunities are provided for pupils to practise and extend reading in other subjects. Pupils select texts under the guidance of the teacher for independent and home/school reading. Teachers monitor independent reading and discuss progress with individual pupils on a regular basis. Where pupils are working below age appropriate objectives, they are targeted for interventions
- All teachers are responsible for providing a stimulating reading environment, promoting book ownership. Classroom and central displays are language rich.
- Reading at home is regarded as an important part of reading development. Parents are encouraged to hear their children read regularly and respond to their child’s reading through either Reading Records or Homework Diaries.
- All teachers are responsible for hearing children read at least once per week through guided or whole class reading sessions and TAs hear children read weekly where possible. This should ensure that all children are heard read by an adult at least twice per week, although this may be more frequent depending on need.
- The ‘Talk for Writing ‘ approach is based upon how children learn language through ‘memorable, meaningful, repetition. Constant experience of stories read aloud help children internalise narrative patterns.
- Every day each teacher reads to and discusses a story with the whole class for their enjoyment. These stories are planned and linked to the children’s interests.
- All classrooms have a book area with a range of fiction and non-fiction books. Pupils also have opportunities to read magazines, information leaflets, newspapers and ICT texts.
- Bug Club
- EYFS and KS1 have decodable books linked to their phonics levels that are used in class and used for home reading.
In school, we have a range of fiction and non-fiction reading books which are used throughout school to support children in learning to read. We take a combined approach to matching appropriate levels to the books children read which focuses on not only their decodable ability with words, but also an individual’s ability to read fluently and fully understand the books they read. The schemes used include:
- Oxford Reading Tree (Floppy’s Phonics, Songbirds, Traditional Tales )
- Rigby Star
- Phonics Bug
- Project X
One of our greatest impacts of reading goes further than our statutory assessment results. Children enjoy reading and show a genuine love for a variety of texts across different genres and formats. This allows children to move on from the Divine Mercy and progress in their education and with the best possible skills for their life long learning journey.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, exposure to high standards of vocabulary and teaching of comprehension skills, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers. We want children to access the wider curriculum and apply their knowledge and experience throughout the curriculum, whilst also allowing children access to stories and texts they can enjoy and engage in for pleasure and enjoyment.
This impact is shown through pupil voice, termly assessments, teachers daily assessment for learning and knowledge of the children, consistent work in books across the curriculum, displays in the classrooms and corridors, home reading files and much more. This is constantly reviewed and monitored to identify children who need extra support. We use a variety of interventions to support these children to work towards all children reaching at least the expected levels in reading.